The F minor tonality at the beginning of the middle section modulates to C

The f minor tonality at the beginning of the middle

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The F minor tonality at the beginning of the middle section modulates to C major within eight bars. The dominant of this new key, G , undergoes an enhar- monic alteration to F and the opening phrases of the section are repeated a semi- tone higher than before to take the tonality to the distant key of C major. For the next eight bars the C major triad is retained in the syncopated chords of the right hand, while the voice, now doubled in octaves in both hands of the accompani- ment, has a melody in C minor . This passage is then reiterated sequentially in F major/minor. The vocal line throughout moves stepwise and it is the dissonant harmonies in the accompaniment that point the sorrow of the words. None of this sounds contrived, however, and this remains one of Grieg’s most beautiful songs. The final song of the op. 48 set, Ein Traum (A Dream), is considered to be the most significant and certainly has more immediacy than the others. This time the dream, unlike Eit Syn (op. 33/6), is a happy one, for it becomes reality, and the
Travels and ‘Travel Memories’ 157 urgency felt in the triplet arpeggios of the accompaniment stems from passion not despair. The vocal line is less angular than in the preceding song, but there are rising and falling intervals of fifths, sixths and sevenths. Here, however, they underline hope and contentment instead of anguish, and are marked by the com- poser to be sung ‘sehr weich’. Harmonically, the song is much more serene than Zur Rosenzeit , with a conventional modulation from the tonic D major to the dominant in the first section. The vocal phrases in Ein Traum , as in the previous song, each begin after a rest, here a quaver instead of a crotchet, and the shorter hesitation is no longer a sigh of anguish, but rather a quick catching of the breath with joy. Interestingly, the songs were written on consecutive days, Ein Traum on 19 August and Zur Rosenzeit on 20 August. The more settled feeling about Ein Traum does not exclude some chromatically altered chords, nor the occasional dissonance, for example the G in the accompaniment against F in the vocal line (bar 5). The little accompaniment figure in bar 10 is reminiscent of some of the folk music characteristics used elsewhere, especially in the G sounded against the A major triad. The song builds to a fine climax as the poet speaks of his joy that his dream is reality. Ein Traum is a big song with a wide vocal range ( c'–a " ) and is very rewarding to sing, which no doubt accounts for its popularity. The poem is the only one Grieg set by Friedrich Bodenstedt (1819–92), who, after Geibel, was the most popular lyric poet of the Munich literary group. He spent some time in the east and, in 1851, published a volume of imitations of ori- ental verse, Die Lieder des Mirza Schaffy , which proved enormously popular, but which rather overshadowed his later work.

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